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Phil Smith of Business West

Youth unemployment remains far too high – Business West

The South West’s labour market is outperforming the national picture, but youth unemployment is still too high, with one-in-five 16 to 24-year-olds out of work.

That was the view of Business West following the publication yesterday (Wednesday) of the labour market statistics for March 2014, published by the Office for National Statistics.

The report showed that:

  • In the three months to January 2014, the unemployment rate in the South West was 5.9 percent, down 0.5 percent on the quarter but marginally up 0.1 percent on the year
  • In the three months to January 2014, unemployment in the South West fell by 13,000, and employment rose by 31,000
  • Youth unemployment (16 to 24-year-olds) in the South West was 20.1 percent a decrease on the quarter of 0.7 percent and 0.5 percent on the year.

Phil Smith, managing director of Business West said: “These figures show that the recovery is still moving in the right direction. In the three months to January 2014, here in the South West unemployment is down and employment is up, reflecting – in fact – outperforming the national picture.

“It is pleasing to see that the South West remains in the bottom three regions for unemployment in the UK.

“Youth unemployment has also decreased in the South West, but with the rate at 20.1 percent, it is still more than three times the rate of unemployment as a whole. However in the South West it still remains below the national average of 22.1 percent.

“Overall the jobs market is still improving, and suggests that the recovery is making progress. “